As Egypt hosted COP27, Mumbai has become the first Indian city to be added to the A-list in the 5th Annual Cities Report published by CDP, a non-profit organisation that runs the world’s environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states, and regions – recognises the important role that cities play in taking bold actions to mitigate and adopt to climate change.
The organisation says that Mumbai was able to attain despite the challenging global economic situation. Designed to encourage and support cities to ramp up their climate action and ambition, CDP’s Cities A-List is based on environmental data disclosed by cities to CDP-ICLEI Track.
In fact, 122 cities across the globe have been named as leaders in environmental action and transparency in 2022 by CDP. For the first time, this includes cities from several countries in the Global South, including Mumbai; cities that are often among those most affected by the impacts of climate change.
India’s financial hub
Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and, globally, the 7th largest in terms of population. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, Mumbai is separated from the mainland by Thane Creek and Harbour Bay. The city is vulnerable to climate change-induced hazards, such as sea level rise, heavy rainfall, storm surges, increasing heat, and tropical cyclones. It is also susceptible to landslides, due to heavy rain that causes many fatalities and physical damage each monsoon season.
The city has recently released its first-ever Climate Action Plan in 2022, ‘Towards a Climate Resilient Mumbai’. It outlines the aims to reach net-zero carbon neutrality by 2050 – the most significant step taken in its climate journey thus far.
The Climate Action Plan has laid down a 30-year roadmap for the city to tackle the challenges of climate change, by adopting inclusive and robust mitigation and adaptation strategies. The action plan sets short, medium, and long-term climate goals aimed at achieving zero emission of greenhouse gases or a net-zero target for 2050.
Recent CDP data shows that 80 percent of cities face climate hazards, from drought to floods, which are expected to be more intense and frequent by 2025 for 25 percent of cities. Hence the need for strong climate action is urgent. A-List cities are demonstrating their climate leadership through concerted and effective action; just as national governments have been asked to do at COP27. They are taking more than three times as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A List cities.
For the first time, over 1,000 cities (1,002 in total) received a rating for their climate action from CDP in, a rise on the 965 cities scored in 2021. In 2022, just over one in ten cities scored by CDP (12% of such cities) received an A. What is clear is that a momentum in city climate disclosure and action is gradually building up. In this context, Mumbai is setting an example in India by showing how emission reduction targets and adaptation plans can change the face of the city.
Other cities from Global South that have also made it onto the A-List for the first time are: Lima (Peru), Quito (Ecuador) and Yaounde IVth Commune (Cameroon. The Middle East also sees its first A-List cities, including Amman (Jordan) and Kadikoy in (Turkey). Brazil, Chile, and the Philippines have returned to the cities A-List for the first time since 2020.
CDP says while we celebrate these cities for their ambitious emission reduction targets and approach to building resilience against climate change, the road ahead is still long. Action needs to go further and faster. Against the context of rapid urbanisation, more cities need to step up their commitments, as well as start reporting their environmental data.
Prarthana Borah, Director, CDP India elaborated on how as cities urbanise, the choices made today will shape the future impacts of climate change and the capacity to respond to them. The focus should be on improving our understanding of what is working and what is not, so that we can move from an alarmist storyline to a ‘what-we-must-do’ story.
A coordinated approach at national, state and local levels is required to get success. Mumbai has hereby set a great example. To gain momentum, climate action and adaptation at local levels should go parallel with mitigation at global and national levels.
Cities from every corner of the world are stepping up to lead in the fight against climate change through meaningful, tangible, and effective action. This new wave of climate leaders includes a growing number of Global South cities in countries that are on the front line of climate change – many of which, from India to Cameroon, are on the A-List for the first time.
“The world, and its cities, need to go much further and faster in stepping up that action. Reporting environmental data is the first, crucial step to acting, as what gets measured, gets managed. This year’s A-List shows the growing momentum in cities reporting their data and we hope that many more will join them in protecting our planet for future generations,” she concluded.